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Revolution in Scientific Affairs

Europe changed dramatically in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries. In many ways, this change was a result of changes in intellectual’s approach to natural history, or science. This revolution in scientific affairs, sparked by thinkers like Bacon, Newton, and Descartes, resulted in a significant upheaval in the arts and literature of Europe. Research into this spread of scientific thinking, which would eventually come to influence ideas about such wildly disparate fields of human endeavor as physics, religion, and governmental theory, shows that Francis Bacon played a major role in encouraging the growth of the Scientific Revolution. Writing in the early part of the 17th century, Bacon painted a tempting picture of a world guided by scientific insight in his seminal work “New Atlantis.” In this work, Bacon reveals his ideas for science and its future, and shows how they could work to improve the world and its inhabitants. His primary focus is the group effort that science requires in order to work as efficiently as possible. Bacon understood that this process would inevitably be slow, but emphasized that it was this kind of slow progress that would lead to clear understanding of the universal laws that guide nature. The man who discovered many of these underlying laws of nature, and lent his name to the physics that describe them was Isaac Newton. Born not long after Bacon’s death, Newton would provide evidence for the existence of these natural laws, and support his theories with scientific experimentation, even developing a new kind of mathematics, infinitesimal calculus, in order to provide support for his theories. The breakthrough philosophical effect of Newton’s discoveries was immense. If the world operat... ... middle of paper ... ...jecting those traditions which interfered with his artistic vision, he created bold new paintings and proved himself an artist of the Enlightenment. It is clear that the Scientific Revolution had a tremendous impact on the thought and art of Europe during the Enlightenment and 18th century. All of the great thinkers of the Enlightenment recognized the scientific revolution and its luminaries as influences on their own thinking. Rational modes of thinking even found their way into the arts, with painters and writers rejecting old traditions and discovering new ways of expressing themselves, no longer bound by irrational standards of aesthetics. In particular, Newton’s orderly universe and Descartes’ philosophy of doubt opened the floodgates for thinkers like Voltaire and Diderot to develop their own ideas and spark the Enlightenment all across Europe.
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